tv MSNBC News Live MSNBC July 30, 2011 10:00am-11:00am EDT
bill for at least 12 hours before holding a test vote. meantime, the house will be in session, too. house gop members plan to strike down the senate measure before it's even passed. keep in mind, the u.s. could default on its payments in just three days, so these stakes are higher than ever. >> time for our colleagues across the aisle, put something on the table. tell us where you are. >> the proposal i put forward is a compromise. we changed it even more today. we would have changed it more, but as i indicated on the floor, we had no one to negotiate with. >> senator reid went up to senator mcconnell on the floor and said let's talk. let's work this out. knock. nothing all day long. not a word. and later at the end of the day, a call from senator mcconnell who said, i'm not going to negotiate with you. that's unfortunate. >> if the president hadn't decided to blow up the bipartisan solution, that members of congress worked so
hard to produce last weekend, we'd be voting to end this crisis today. >> nbc's luke russert is live for us on capitol hill. i don't know, luke. these two sides sound farther apart than ever as they get ready to buckle down and work together. can something get done today? >> reporter: that's the question, i think everyone around the country is really asking. and the question that needs to be asked is where are the negotiations? and quite frankly, no one really kno knows for sure. mcconnell said to reid he would not negotiate an extension unless president obama was involved in the talks. harry reid then said he was trying to negotiate with rank and file republicans in the senate but they wanted to come aboard, but they'd not had the permission of their leader. so really it many comes down to who do you believe? it probably is somewhere in the middle, but in terms of going forward the real situation is the clock becomes the most important issue. if the senate does everything they could do to figure out some
sort of compromise possibly by tonight or it gets pushed over to tomorrow morning, there's still going to be the earliest attempts that the house can vote on any senate compromise most likely some time monday night, tuesday morning, tuesday afternoon, which leaves a very small window for speaker john boehner to get a compromised proposal through the house. he had an awful difficult time getting a republican bill through the house. it took him three tries. any compromise is going to be a most likely up to 100 and 128 republicans flee and join with democrats. that's where we are. but where can harry reid negotiate today? the idea that we've heard is he's really going to try and target members on the united states senate that seemed open to the gang of six proposal, who want to do business, who do not want to see some sort of default, try to get eight to ten to 12 of these senate republicans to say, hey, come on board with me. give me some credibility here. send it back to the house and
say, john boehner, here's a bipartisan proposal, take it or leave it. we're still a long way from seeing what that looks like. >> thanks for keeping a vigilant eye on it. see you next hour. i spoke with ron ansanaa this morning and asked him how difficult this crisis could get. >> the situation is leading to this is the worst and most overused expression on wall street which is that the markets hate uncertainty, and this is a more uncertain environment than i've seen in my adult lifetime and i think everybody in our age group would suggest they've not seen a political game played like this down to the wire with so much at stake. >> and so many people say that damage has already been done in terms of our aaa credit rating. do you believe that to be true? >> well, moody's came out late yesterday and suggested if we got a debt ceiling increase they might not downgrade, they'll put us on negative watch for a possible future downgrade pending any advancement on a deficit reduction deal.
>> but negative watch doesn't do anything to our wallet in terms -- >> it shouldn't. given the behavior of the bond market now, given they know that, it would seem it would not have an immediate impact on borrowing rates. at least for now. and some are arguing that a downgrading won't have an immediate impact on rates, given that the bond market, like i said, is more concerned about the bad economic numbers we've gotten this week than the threat of default or downgrade. >> ron insana there. meanwhile, u.s. troops in afghanistan are worried they may not get paid because of this debt showdown in washington. gener good saturday morning to you, atia. so what was this meeting with the troops like? >> reporter: good morning, alex. the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, admiral mullen, made his way down to the southern part of afghanistan, the most volatile part in the country. his number one question from the
soldiers, airmen, sailors and marines wasn't necessarily about the military strategy but it was, will we get paid. and his response was, i actually don't know the answer to that question. i have confidence that at some point in time whatever compensation you are owed you will be given. obviously the americans here in afghanistan, very worried about what's going on in washington. many of these men and women haven't seen their families for several months. many won't see them for a full year and they're wondering if those family members are going to be getting those paychecks. they're risking their lives here in afghanistan, and they're wondering why their congressmen and women back home can't come up with a decision and can't help them actually receive their paychecks. alex? >> so, atia, then did they get reassurance at all? >> reporter: well, that was the interesting part. i wasn't actually down in kandahar with them, but from the reporters who were out there, they said admiral mullen didn't
really have an answer for them. but what he did say he kind of made a joke out of it and said you should probably write letters to your congressmen and women. and that received chuckles from the crowd, because they realized as well, how ridiculous that is, because they're in a war zon they're here risking their lives. but at the same time, they're also worried about their paycheck. >> they are, indeed. and really they should not be. thank you very the house will convene in less than two hours with the debt ceiling crisis coming to a head. i'm joined live by michael grim of new york. congressman grim is a member of the financial services committee and frequent guest on our broadcast. good morning to you. >> good morning. >> before i get to questions we've prepared for you, i want to have you react to what atia was telling us there from afghanistan, that you have american service men and women over there who are concerned because of what's happening on the hill behind you, that they're not going to get paid. how wrong is that?
>> it's wrobeyond wrong. it's reprehensible. that's why there's a part of me that just can't believe what's happening here in washington. it's a debate between washington as usual which means just raise the debt ceiling, don't worry about the underlying problem, let's just raise the debt ceiling. we'll talk about that other steph lat stuff later. the american people are going to look at these events as they were. back in february, the president put his plan on the table. we saw his plan with his budget. it was voted down in the senate that he controls. 97-0. because all it did was raise taxes and increase the debt. it proves that he was never serious about getting this debt under control. since then, the house has acted twice. we passed paul ryan's budget, we passed cap and balance, and last night we passed something else. and for the record, that something else we passed last night, harry reid had a lot of input into. that 12-member congressional
panel, that was his idea with mcconnell. so this is -- this is the compromise. >> these two that boehner and reid did a lot of negotiating on this bill. >> yes. that's right. and that's why he's not being honest when he says that we don't want to negotiate. the truth is, harry reid agreed to that plan until the president of the united states, president obama, called him and said, absolutely not. and that's when reid came up with that other plan that he's going to propose. let's look at that plan. you know what that plan cuts? it cuts moneys that we never intended to expend on the drawdown in the wars in afghanistan and iraq. that's not a cut. it's more of kabuki theater or more of these budgetary tricks that the american people are disgusted with. and that's the reason we're in this problem in the first place. it's about debt. that's the problem. >> can i ask you, then, in terms of what's going on behind the scenes, if you're accurate in telling us you've got harry reid and john boehner talking about things, the two of these men, these leaders from opposite
parties, agreeing to things, then you have another player with the president coming in. how much is that the reality of what's going on there as opposed to just people coming out as seemingly intractable. i mean, is there compromise in good faith going on anywhere? >> well, i think there was, up until harry reid told the president that he made a deal, and the president put an end to it. and that's why mitch mcconnell now doesn't want to deal with harry reid because he's not a man of his word. how can you negotiate in good faith, go to the table, do whatever you have to do, come to a deal, shake hands, walk away, and then five minutes later, because the president called you, say, oh, deal's off the table. that's not what the american people expect. they do expect bipartisan efforts here, and john boehner has done everything he possibly can to get a compromise. and for the record, it was -- i remember being a brand-new freshman just sworn in when john boehner held a meeting and said we're going to deal with the debt problem now so we're not down to the wire and seniors are worried about getting their social security and the troops are worried about getting their
military pay. that's what we tried to avoid the whole way. and let me ask you, since the budget, what has the president put on the table? and since today, what has harry reid put on the table? they have done nothing. it's the president and harry reid that are standing in between this and the american people and raising this debt ceiling. >> i'm sure you've heard it said the road to you know where is paid with the good intentions of men, but i want to ask you very quickly, in april the "new york post" quoted you as having said it was simply not an option to raise the federal debt limit and now we know you did indeed vote in favor of john boehner's debt plan. what changed for you? >> that's a half quote. i said it's not an option to raise a debt ceiling unless we have real cuts and systemic reform. they like to do that, cut off the half part, which is very important. it was a two-prong test to me. do we have substantial cuts? and do we have realistic reform. why? because i said from the beginning, the problem is not the debt ceiling. the problem is the underlying debt. if we don't have a real long-term tangible solution to dealing with our debt, then there's no question that the
rating agencies are going to downgrade our aaa rating. that is catastrophic for our economy. that needed to be avoided, and that's why i said i would not vote to raise the debt ceiling unless we had a tangible plan that had real cuts and systemic reforms. i held to that. i wanted more in john boehner's plan, it certainly wasn't perfect, but with this president and this senate, i figured that it's all we're going to get to avoid default. but this president and this senate is not serious about cutting at all. they want a blank check, they want to get through the 2012 elections, that's all they care about, and the debt is really something that's -- you know, we'll talk about that another day. politics as usual, washington as usual. let's deal with the real problems some other time in another congress, let's just do what we have to do to get re-elected and that's not an option for the house republican. >> in all fairness there are many who would suggest goppers a are trying to get re-elects as well, but we'll leave it there, michael grimm of new york. thank you. >> thank you.
we'll get the democrat side of the debate when debbie wasserman schultz joins us live 15 minutes from now. the search for a missing new hampshire girl, police have received hundreds of leads, so why haven't they issued an amber alert? we'll hear from a criminal profiler about that. also the battle of the dna in the amanda knox appeal. we'll tell you what one expert is expected to say. but first, a look at the plan put forward by harry reid. i love that my daughter's part fish.
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ceiling. the latest plan includes a debt limit increase of $2.4 trillion, matched equally in budget cuts. he uses senator mcconnell's plan to raise the debt limit in steps and adds no new revenues. joining me now, pat buchanan, also joining us democratic strategist and cnbc contributor morris reid. gentlemen, good morning. >> looking at this plan, isn't it nearly everything republicans have wanted? and if so, why is it expected to be doa in the house? >> it hasn't come over back over to the house yet. the house passed a bill last night, which the senate killed. one of the problems with harry reid's deal is the same one the representative just mentioned who was on the show, mr. grimm of new york, and that is that harry reid's bill contains a lot of fraud. if we get $1 trillion in cuts by not having war in iraq and afghanistan beyond when we're
not going to have war, you know, we're not going to attack pakistan, they can declare that as a saving too. but here's the problem, and the congressman stated it well. there are aspects of the two plans that are acceptable, and the president has vetoed those, and that is why mitch mcconnell is saying to harry reid, look, you're not going to impose your plan on a senate, 47 members who are republicans, we're going to have to deal. and i think they are going to deal, alex. they're going to send something back over to the house, and i think the house will probably have to pass it on monday or tuesday. >> okay. morris, did you think harry reid has given up too many with this bill, and do you think he's going to have to give up more to get republican support? >> i think there's going to be a lot of compromise. and remember, compromise is not a bad word. in this town, some days compromise seems like a bad word, but that's what you do when you negotiate. when you don't have an absolute majority, you have to give a little to get a little. and for some reason, this town
has lost that understanding, that it is really not about whose parties are in charge, but really about what we're trying to get done for the american people here. so i really lost faith in both parties because the fact is we shouldn't have the ability to continue to raise the debt ceiling, we should have to balance our books like every american does every single day. and you know, frankly, we have a crisis of confidence in the american economy and just in america as an institution. we're going down to the wire when we should be the standard bearer. we should be the beacon on the hill. we should be the currency of choice. if we continue to do -- have this malaise and this bickering back and forth, the dollar will continue to deval ooh, and we will be irrelevant on the global scene. and that is just a shame, when we've had our forefathers who had such vision in setting up this financial institution and this monetary institution. i know pat agrees with this,
this is not about democrats or republicans, this is about getting our house in order. we need to really focus on making sure we're never going to get to this point again and making sure congress balances the books. >> pat, i want to ask you the extent to which this is about the tea party. because as you know, conservative columnist charles krauthammer just rallied against the tea party friday. under our constitutional system you cannot govern from one house alone. given this reality, trying to force the issue, turn a blocking minority into a governing authority is not just counterconstitutional in spirit but self-destructive in practice. so it begs the question, are the tea party members holding the economy hostage? >> well, it is now -- i mean, what krauthammer wrote i think contains some truth in it, as of thursday and friday. and i agree with morris. our problem is we have two fundamental disagreements here, alex. the republican party and the conservatives believe the country has been going in the wrong direction. too much spending, and they're going to stop it and give it no
more revenue, and the democratic party basically likes where the country has been going, so we've had a conflict. but when you came to middle of the middle last week, that was the time at which i think the tea party has to say, look, we've got no new taxes in the deal, whatever it is, we're going to get some spending cuts, let's take our pot off the table. we've won the hand. give mr. boehner the ability to negotiate with harry reid on the final deal, which is not going to be as much to our liking as boehner's deal and do that. that's when they put their feet in and dug in and i think they made a mistake then and they hurt boehner. but the fundamental problem here is a fundamental disagreement in which the two parties think which way america should go. in the end you need to compromise on that, but before that it is an adversary proceeding. >> what the congress needs to do is to do their job. so we have to have this debt ceiling lifted, raised, so that
we don't go into default and hurt the overall economy. the tea party, the folks that want to fix this, immediately want to ee -- there's a way to shut down the congress, a way to be heard and keep the focus here, but this is not the right way. ultimately we're going to continue to hurt american jobs, we're going to hurt our exporters, we're going to hurt our research institutions, there's so many people that are going to be hurt with this unattended consequences. so i think what the tea parties are trying to do is fine. get this done, and then force mcconnell and all these guys to resolve this issue. >> there was only ten tea party freshmen who voted against the deal. the deal went through, harry reid's deal is going to go through i think after he satisfies mitch mcconnell. it's going to get done. the tea party did an awful lot of good here, tremendous amount of good in making sure it's a better deal, but i do think they held on too long. >> it is interesting, i guess pr problem they may be dealing with
some new pictures this morning from the area where a bomb exploded in oslo, norway. damage from last week's bombing is still evident. 77 people most of them teenagers were killed in oslo and on a nearby island. the prosecution and defense teams are cross examining forensic experts in the amanda knox case. the investigation was contested by court appointed experts who say there were glaring errors. knox was convicted of murdering her british roommate and is now serving a 26-year sentence. tropical storm don has weakened to a tropical depression. the storm brought little relief to the record-breaking heat in
texas. and here with your saturday forecast now, nbc meteorologist bill karins. good saturday morning, bill. >> good saturday morning to you, alex. all the hype going into last night was what would don do in texas. don did nothing. don was a dud. look at the radar. it's even hard to figure out where the storm would be. there's barely any showers or storms associated with the storm system. this is the opposite of what texas was hoping for. we were hoping for a big drenching. think of texas almost like a hot pizza oven and all we did was throw a napkin in it. this storm dissipated faster than almost any storm i've seen before. it didn't even go into the mountains and dissipate, it literally evaporated as it moves over brownsville. you can see it on the satellite imagery. it was the big red blob, and as soon as it got to the dry land in texas, poof. all of a sudden, don was gone. so not good news down there. the storm system is -- what's left of it, circulation is going to head for mexico anyway so it looks like just scattered showers and storms in texas
during the day today. we'll take what we can get, but this wasn't the answer we were hoping for. there's not a lot of wet weather on the map, there are showers in missouri, also showers in the northern plains. your forecast for today, rain likely more or less in mexico, not texas. hot weather for dallas once again. warm and sunny in the northeast. as we go into the sunday forecast, we should see a lot of thunderstorms in the midatlantic and monsoonal showers and storms continue around the four corners region. so i guess just a lot of disappointment in texas. this was the best chance of rain we had in a long time, months, and it just didn't come true. hopefully we'll get another weak tropical stimulater in the season. back to you. >> here's hoping. thanks so much, bill. the debt showdown even if the deal is reached and the august second deadline is met, the u.s. credit rating could still be downgraded. the domino effect that could follow, you're watching msnbc saturday. we're taking a look at it.
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the parties are not that far apart here. we're in rough agreement on how much spending we need to cut to reduce our deficit, and we agree on a process to tackle tax reform and entitlement reform. there are plenty of ways out of this mess, but there's very little time. >> president obama, his weekly address this morning calling for compromise to avoid government default. joining me now, mike viqueira. good saturday morning to you. >> reporter: good morning, alex. >> the president says we're just about there on agreement. how close are we? can you categorize it? >> reporter: it's all up to senate republicans now, let's get people up to speed. john boehner passed his plan after disruptions and arm twisting and back room, really beseeching his conservative members to come aboard with him. in the end he couldn't do it without changing it to sort of throw them a bone, to add in the balanced budget amendment. the good news for john boehner is he got something out of the house to bring the debt ceiling
down and cuts of $1 trillion, but it was pretty much dead on arrival in the senate if it hadn't been already. so in a sort of perverse way that cleared things up a little bit. now it's very clear that it's all up to the united states senate. harry reid submitted his own plan. as of this point he does not have support to get to the magical 60 threshold we hear so much, 60 votes out of 100 in the senate to get it passed out of there, so the key becomes senate republicans. there are furious negotiations going on behind the scenes today as we speak, trying to alter that measure that reid submitted last night in a way to attract at least seven, but hopefully more if you're a democrat, if you're president obama, to the bill so they can get it passed. the first crucial test, tonight in the wee hours or i should say tomorrow morning at 1:00 a.m., sort of a test vote, a procedural vote, in the senate. a best case scenario, this will go right up to the deadline. if they get through the senate,
it goes back to the house. another torturous session there. we'll go right to tuesday on this thing, very little doubt about it at this point. >> i'm curious if we're going to see the picture of congressional leaders coming to the white house or conversely, as we've seen in, you know, trying times in the past, the president taking it up to capitol hill. >> reporter: well, that's a good point. i think he would do that if he thought it would help. but you know, when the president inserts himself in that way, sometimes it's counterproductive, particularly on the house side, obviously, when they're trying to get those conservative votes, those tea party backed members to go along. the president yesterday really making an effort to appear above it all. i mean, obviously people are frustrated around the country. they're bewildered by the congressional process. they don't understand with so much at stake. admiral mike mullen, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff is asked by soldiers on a trip to afghanistan, are we going to get paid, and he tells them he's not sure he can answer that question. so the stakes obviously couldn't be higher. it's hard to believe.
after 21 years of experience covering this now, it's hard to believe, even given everything that's going on, even after the high tension, the drama, the partisan bickering, that they're not going to come to some kind of agreement when they're relatively close in the senate with the reid plan and what republicans have proposed in the past. >> okay. thank you very much, mike viqueira. see you next hour. we invite all of you to watch "meet the press" tomorrow, the guest will be david plouffe. if it is sunday, it's "meet the press." joining me from washington, congresswoman from florida, debbie wasserman schultz. she is the chair of the democratic national committee and also serves on the house budget committee. thanks for joining us. >> ink that's, alex. >> we have the house planning to hold the symbolic vote on reid's plan before even getting it. so what would a rejection by the house gop mean for reid's plan? >> well, what the republicans in the house are trying to do yet again is insist on getting their
way, refusing to many come to the table and compromise. as mike just said, the two sides are really not very far apart. there are significant cuts in both senator reid and speaker boehner's plans, but the poison pill that the the house and the senate to pass and send to the states a constitutional amendment, alex, is -- was a total wrecker. the balanced budget amendment was an absolute deal breaker. it it ended -- at the end of the day, whether it's the cut cap and balance plan that was dead on arrival, it's time for leaders to lead. to come to the table and be reasonable. democrats have been there ready for compromise under president obama's leadership for months, and republicans continue to be strangled by their extremists. it's just irresponsible.
>> i think a lot of people are he c echoing that same sentiment. i'm curious, we heard from michael grimm last hour, democrat from new york, who said -- >> no, he's a republican. >> pardon me, republican from new york. yes. but what he said there was that john boehner and harry reid had negotiated together, behind the scenes. these two men had worked on the boehner bill, gotten it through all the sausage making between the two of them, that reid had essentially passed off on it until he got the call from the white house that the president said, no way. is that true, first of all, and is that indicative of the way things are happening right now behind the scenes. because we get this message of intractable perceptions, and everyone's standing firm on their ground, and we all wonder, where is the compromise going to happen? >> that is simply not true. there has never been a time when the president or democrats have
been willing to allow for ending medicare as we know it, to be a part of in hany plan, increasin costs anywhere, piling all the pain on the backs of the middle class and working families. we recognize that we have to address our deficit and we know we can't allow our nation to default on our obligations. if you've listened to people like congressman grimm and other tea party republican extremists like him, they have repeatedly said they don't seem to care whether the nation defaults. they don't understand that every major economist has said there will be dire consequences. we have obligations that we have already made. and raising the debt ceiling is imperative so that we don't default on those obligations. a grasp of that is imperative, but because they have the right wing and the extreme right wing in the republican party controlling things right now, it is not allowing what should
happen, which is compromise. >> do you see that extreme right wing stance, though, eroding in erm terms of ability to put through what they want, pat buchanan said there's only about ten tea party members of the house that really are digging in their heels. >> well, they were only able to get to 218 last night, and so -- they lost at least 20 of them members on a plan that was already extreme, to begin with. they have a battle going on in their own party right now between the right, the extreme right and the few remaining moderates that isn't allowing them to let their leaders lead and get this job done. and what they're doing is that they are leaving seniors who depend on social security payments twisting in the wind, they're causing our rank and file military to ask the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff whether they're going to
get paid and he can't answer that question yet. this is the height of irresponsibility. look, alex, i'm the chair of the democratic national committee, and so obviously i care about the democratic agenda a lot, and believe in it. but i know that as a representative of the 20th district of florida my first responsibility is to say we have to make sure that we're responsible. and it's not always going to be my way. i have strongly-held principles, i have strongly-held preferences. the preferences i'm going to have to put aside a little bit and make sure that we can get this done and not jeopardize our economy. where are the republicans that recognize that, too? they're absent. >> that is what's called being a responsible politician, i believe, but how do you see this ending? >> well, i wish i could predict. i know that if there are a few republicans on the senate side that come together, recognize that we're not that far apart with senator reid and hammer out
a compromise and send us something that should pass, if cooler heads prevail, that we'll have an opportunity to prevent default and chaos. i just hope there are enough responsible senators on both sides of aisle in the senate to do that. the house last night proved that the republicans don't seem to have any of those. >> it's a long day ahead, debbie wasserman schultz, thank you. >> thank you. there's still a real possibility that the government's credit rating could be downgraded for the first time in history and then there could be a domino effect. richard lui is here with how a ding to uncle sam's credit report could hit states and cities still recovering from this recession. >> it's still tough for them. we've told the stories about states, localities and municipalities. it's an incorrect drindirect li
third of the funds coming from uncle sam according to the national association of state budget officers, a credit downgrade if it happens, says moody's, would domino to hurt states across the country, lowering their top rated credit as well. it doesn't stop there. every day services from our cities would get knocked over as well. and it's not one city hall or a dozen, but 7,000 city halls that could feel the hurt, says "usa today." there are 15 states with moody's top rating now. so these five would automatically get their credit axed. as soon as uncle sam's gets cut. that's maryland, nk, south carolina, tennessee and virginia. gone. in addition, their top rating would be put on watch from vermont to georgia to alaska, most likely affected if the u.s. government gets two or more downgrades.
at issue, $24 million of obligations of debt. states wanting to avoid a credit downgrade, watch these factors, says moody's unemployment. or lack thereof. the amount of federal contracts, debt and money in the bank. some are holding down borrowing, but there is some time to maneuver. any state downgrade would happen seven to ten days after the debt dominos start to fall. >> don't even go there. i don't want to think there's any sort of time at all. >> we want them to stand straight up. >> august 2nd. thank you very much. appreciate that. up next, the debt issue on the 2012 campaign trail. it is next here on msnbc, the place for politics. specialists, lots of doctors, lots of advice... and my hands were full. i couldn't sort through it all. with unitedhealthcare, it's different. we have access to great specialists, and our pediatrician gets all the information. everyone works as a team.
they're expected to discuss a plan put forward by harry reid. while that debate rages on in washington right now, we look ahead to the 2012 campaign and how these negotiations may affect the crop of presidential hopefuls looking to keep the obama administration from spending a second term in the white house. nice to see you, good saturday morning. >> good to see you. >> as we look ahead to 2012, you say many candidates are tip toeing around this issue. how do you this i that's going to play out in the polls just over a year from now? >> some of them are tip toeing around it and some are really embracing it as a way to draw others out. for instance, jon huntsman who is struggling in the polls now is really trying to use this as a referendum on mitt romney's leadership. not necessarily coming out saying he backed boehner's planning saying it's in the right direction, that he agrees that there should be no tax revenue and no tax hikes. so he's really trying to land
some hits on romney in this instance. and, of course, all of them are using this to really make this argument that barack obama hasn't led, that he has no plan of his own, and that he is really a big spending liberal who has really presided over this massive increase in spending and deficit spending. >> right. so with the president's overall approval rating hitting a new low, it's now just 40%, do you think this debate helps or hurts the president in 2012? if everything gets done and over with here and we have an end of the summer sort of the heat and rhetoric all calms down, will this be a factor this time next year? >> i think it will definitely come up again. on the one hand, you're going to have republicans try to argue again that here's a president that has spent so much money, whether it's on health care, the health care legislation, or on the stimulus package. i think you'll have the president be in a position where he can say that he really tried
to buck his party and really look at some of the spending. even with entitlements, looking at some cuts. so he'll in some ways, it's given him an additional argument to really countersome of the arguments that you'll see some of the republican candidates make. so there could be an instance where he's lost this battle initially with some of the cuts and not having a clean raising of the debt ceiling, but it could be when 2012 comes, because he's able to have this additional argument that he was really the compromiser, that might give him a winning argument against this other argument that you'll hear from republicans. >> okay. nice to see you, thank you. >> thank you. gone without a trace, the investigation into the disappearance of a 9-year-old new hampshire girl expands beyond the borders of her state and the country. what has the fbi discovered? that is next on msnbc saturday. x
experiencing one of the worst droughts since record keeping began 116 years ago. despite the promise or wishful thinking of rain this weekend, tropical depression don did little to ease drought conditions in the county there. with us now, janet shamlian live in houston, texas, where it looks like the rain from earlier has dissipated. good morning. >> reporter: right. so 90-something, and we had some rain, so the humidity is like 1,000%, alex. but we were happy for that rain, because this is an epic drought, the driest nine months on record in the history of texas. right now it takes 17 inches of rain just to get us back to normal. weeks on end of triple-digit temperatures. and in most areas, months without measurable rain has turned texas into a dust bowl. and it's spawning dust devils, amid the worst dry spell in
decades. >> i have never in my 30 years in weather seen a drought like this one. >> reporter: this map shows the spread from texas, oklahoma, and new mexico now into southern colorado and kansas. >> hard, dry, no rain. just -- no grass. need the rain bad. >> reporter: as crops burn and lakes dry up, economists say agricultural losses just in texas could top $8 billion. double last month's prediction. >> when drought affects here, we see it in prices of everything from the clothes we wear to the food we eat. >> reporter: ranchers are rushing to sell their cattle at auction early because there's no food. and for already suffering wildlife, a new problem. rabies. the number of rabies cases in central texas has more than doubled since last year as food and water sources dry up and animals are more likely to interact and infect each other. >> we do really need to remember they do carry potentially
dangerous diseases for people and animals. >> reporter: suffering in the heat that has already done so much damage this summer season. this region really could use a good drenching. as we saw, don was a dud, but, alex, the hurricane season or tropical storm season is still very young, so we are hopeful, not for a damaging hurricane, but for more moisture in this region. >> i'm sure you're going to get it at some point. thank you very much. a frantic search is on right now in northern new hampshire for any signs at all of a missing 11-year-old girl, but so far there's no trace of celina cass. she was reportedly last seen last monday near the canadian border. pat brown, author of "the profiler, my life hunting serial killers and psychopaths," another good morning to you. >> good morning. >> we spoke about the fact an amber alert has not been issued in this case. what would some of the reasons for that be? >> they simply don't have
absolute information she was abducted. so the information is going out there this little girl is missing but they just don't know why. >> why would they put police tape around her home? >> i think they're doing the right thing, because again we don't have any evidence she was abducted or that she ran away. something could have happeneded in that home, and just to be on the safe side what they're doing is sealing it off. we've seen this happen in other cases where they go looking elsewhere and then two weeks later decide something did happen in the home and by that time, 50 people have been in the home doing all kinds of stuff. so they're going to seal it off so they don't have any problems either way, no matter what they find out. >> it is a most perplexing case, and there seem to be very few details. we are told she was last seen on her computer at her home monday night, but don't know much else. tell me what police are doing right now to track down where she is, and do you believe those reports. do we have proof she was on her computer? >> the police are doing a good thing in that they're keeping all avenue news open. they're not just saying we think
the family's involved so we're not going to look to see if a stranger's got her, so we're happy about that, but they are obviously looking back at the home because we do not know when celina went missing. we don't know if she was really on her computer when they said she was on the computer and the stepfather has said a couple rather strange things. when they asked what he would like to tell the girl, he said, she should get her butt back home, which is kind of shocking, this girl's been kidnapped, why would you say that? and secondly he said the family is grieving, why are they grieving if she's still out there and alive. so obviously he's being looked at. >> yeah. something isn't quite right, and certainly with the disappearance of celina cass, not right at all. thank you very much, pat brown. no solution yet to the debt standoff yet, lots of moving parts in the house and white house. plus, what would happen if there is a downgrade of u.s. credit and how would that impact you and your family? that's coming up next on msnbc saturday.
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